Conviction of sin

by Matt Slick

Conviction can be a powerful thing in the life of a Christian. As followers of Jesus, we are indwelt by the living God who is holy and righteous. The Lord himself purchased us with His blood (Acts 20:28), and we are no longer our own. We belong to the Holy One of Israel. Since we are no longer our own and since we belong to God, He has taken up residence in us. As Jesus said in John 14:23, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him." God lives in us.

Sometimes in our Christian lives, we sin. Such acts of rebellion against God brings us to the place of conviction in our hearts where the Holy Spirit sometimes gently, sometimes with strength, prods our hearts, pricks at our innermost being, nudges at our soul, and brings us to the place of confession and repentance. This persistent and sometimes gnawing conviction of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful thing, no matter how unpleasant it is at the time.  But that is the nature of many good things; they sometimes are best gained through discomfort.

God loves us enough not to leave us alone. He has our best interest at heart. He does not want to us to participate in that which grieves Him and harms us. This is why Jesus said that He would not leave us alone but that He would send the Comforter who would help us and guide us (John 14:26; Acts 9:31). This Comforter is the one who grants us the assurance of our salvation so that we might know we possess eternal life (1 John 5:13).  He also anoints us and teaches us (1 John 2:19).  And, He also consistently and lovingly convicts us of our sins.  Why does he do this? Again, to bring us to confession and repentance.

How are you with God? Do your sins result in conviction in your soul? Is your relationship with the Lord such that even your minor sins bring an uncomfortable awareness of guilt? If you do not experience this, then you are either not saved, hardened of heart, or are in need of repentance. Or, perhaps you are so sanctified in your walk with the Lord that you rarely sin. Perhaps, it is possible. But in my life, I have yet to arrive at such a place. In my life the Holy Spirit is active in a wide variety of ways.  Conviction is simply one of them by which He ministers holiness to me, and I'm thankful. Are you thankful? Does your conviction bring you to repentance and confession?

"Lord, thank you for forgiving me of my sins and thank you for continuing to work in my heart to make me more like you. Please convict me of my sins so that I might know from what I need to turn so that I might not grieve you, and so that I might bring glory to your name. Do with me as you wish Lord."


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.